- (Photo: ChristianMingle.com)
Fifty-five percent of Christian singles still believe in love at first sight, according to a recent Valentine's Day poll conducted by ChristianMingle.com, one of the largest faith-based online dating sites.
Asking singles several questions related to love and the upcoming holiday on Feb. 14, the organization found a few surprising results, including the fact that men have more romantic tendencies than women.
Compared to 53 percent of females, 58 percent of male participants said that they believe in love at first sight.
"These results are contrary to what we expected," Christian Community Manager Ashley Reccord expressed. "While the stereotype is that women are more romantic at heart, our poll suggests men may trump women in believing in romance, even if they don't always show it outwardly."
Though the idea behind love at first sight is enchanting and romantic, is it setting up unrealistic expectations for singles or perpetuating somewhat of a dangerous mentality for Christians?
"While attraction is an important part of dating and a great first impression can certainly jump-start a relationship, one of the major benefits of a community like ChristianMingle, is the ability to pace the relationship and get to know a potential date on a meaningful level before meeting in person," Reccord told The Christian Post in an email.
"ChristianMingle members can get to know one another through on-site communication features such as Email, IM and Message Boards, and even take advantage of the various tools ChristianMingle has available such as the Relationship Readiness Test, Compatibility Matching Profile Assessment (COMPASS) and Color Code personality test, which help members to better understand compatibility and be ready for building a Christ-centered relationship."
By setting up these means of communication first, Christians are more likely to approach each potential relationship in a deeper and less superficial manner.
The online survey additionally revealed that 46 percent of Christian singles still held onto the notion that there was one right person in the world for them compared to the 34 percent of people who disagreed.
Many in the Reformed community, however, have opened up about these notions of love and marriage, discussing how today's culture all too often misunderstands compatibility.
"In generations past, there was far less talk about 'compatibility' and finding the ideal soul-mate," widely respected preacher Timothy Keller recently wrote in Relevant Magazine. "Today we are looking for someone who accepts us as we are and fulfills our desires, and this creates an unrealistic set of expectations that frustrates both the searches and the searched for."
"Some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation," the Redeemer Presbyterian Church pastor explained. "Simply put – today people are asking far too much in their marriage partner."
For Keller, no two people are instantly compatible. Rather, they are brought and kept together by the transforming power of the Gospel.
Responding to Keller's corrections, Reccord shared, "ChristianMingle is distinctive from any other site because of its self-selecting experience, based on the premise that Christianity is central to the essence, character and identity of each individual and, therefore, the driving force behind what Christians look for in a potential mate."
"Our organization believes it is important to build a relationship with someone on the foundation of their faith and their individual relationships with God," she added.
In other words, only through the foundation and growth of faith could two people sustain their relationships.
When asked what was the best advice she could offer singles seeking a spouse, the Christian community manager for Spark Networks said, "We encourage singles to join ChristianMingle initially to form friendships among individuals of like mind, faith and values."
"Once they are ready for a serious relationship, they will find the site is a safe, comfortable place for them to enter the dating world, control the pace of the relationship and meet someone who shares their convictions and values."
"Our mission is to serve as the premier online community for Christian singles looking to make meaningful connections, date and marry within the Christian faith," Reccord concluded. "Thus, our objective is to encourage and empower members in their faith walk, and our deepest desire is to see them grow in their relationships with Christ and live out their spiritual journeys with authenticity."
Currently, ChristianMingle has more than five million registered members, with more than two million new members having registered in the last year alone.
The organization's tagline is "Find God's Match for You."